Friday, December 27, 2013

Pittsburgh, Community, Water Polo begins in January, for free, for adults on Friday evenings.

Friday evenings:

Adult Water Polo Clinics for Rookies!

No experience necessary. Shallow and deep water positions.Check it out.

First time in Pittsburgh at the brand new Thelma Lovette YMCA, Centre Avenue, just 5 blocks from the Consol Energy Center.

Co-ed, community water polo is geared to any want-a-be athletes, young adults, triathletes, master swimmers and even non-swimmers, as we'll need shallow end goalies and have liberal play off the bottom in a mostly shallow, friendly pool. Come out for a new winter-time, high energy game. We'll learn new skills, drills and play modified scrimmages and games. Bring your friends and make this a new challenge for the next weeks to come.

The 6:30 pm Friday night open practices are free as an introduction to the sport as we build up for a potential, in-house, water polo league slated for the fall of 2014.

Sign up now with Seth Pfannenschmidt, Aquatics Coordinator, Thelma Lovette YMCA, 412-315-0989.

Lead instructor, Mark Rauterkus, head varsity swim coach and founder of Summer Dreamers Swim & Water Polo Camps. Assistants, captains and volunteers welcomed. Contact:, 412-298-3432 to lend a hand.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Fwd: Community Works Coordinator Position-engaging, enriching opportunity-Share out

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <>
Date: Dec 24, 2013 11:39 AM
Subject: Community Works Coordinator Position-engaging, enriching opportunity-Share out
To: <>

(We are helping people that need help with the Affordable Care Act online application--see attached flyer. Please share out and post.)
Please share out with friends and peers that are looking for an engaging, challenging, and enriching new job.
Job description is also attached.


Job Title: Community Works Program Coordinator

Position Overview:

The Community Works Program is a partnership between Neighborhood Learning Alliance, Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, and Pittsburgh Public Schools that provides an academic after school program combined with career education and development activities, real work experience, and post secondary support. The program is designed for primarily 12th grade students. The majority of the students attend Pittsburgh University Prep and Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy.

Work days are Monday thru Friday with evening and weekend hours as needed. The Program Coordinator directs volunteers and support staff that assist with the program's operation.


1.      Recruit students and build strong relationships with all participants and their families.

  1. Manage all on-site operations of daily programming and off-site trips. This includes managing the site team of support staff and volunteers.
  2. Ensure production and distribution of program information documents, including schedules of academic and recreational activities, to participants and their families.
  3. Ensure students sign-in each day and that participation in all activities is documented.
  4. Build and maintain working relationships with school teachers, counselors, and administrators.
  5. Work directly with the school to process teacher referrals and collect data from the school on attendance, grades, standardized test scores, disciplinary actions, etc., to connect youth to appropriate afterschool academic services.
  6. Assist in the assignment of participants to worksites.
  7. Assist with the implementation of the "Youth Work Ready Certification" competencies: volunteerism, work experience, job shadowing, and assessments.
  8. Monitor students' success at their work placement and at the afterschool program site.
  9. Assist students with resume writing, interviewing skills, and career choices.
  10. Document using a case note format for all student / coordinator interactions.
  11. Work as a team with other coordinators.


Experience working with urban high school youth, Act 33/34 clearances, proficient in Microsoft Word and Excel, valid PA driver's license and reliable vehicle.  Familiarity with Pittsburgh Public Schools a plus. College degree highly preferred.

We offer:
 Health, Dental, Life Insurance, and Annual Salary ($30,000 to $33,000) based on experience


Send cover letter and resume to Rick Flanagan, Youth Development Director, to bgcafterschool

Saturday, December 21, 2013

PPS board sends a wake up call to the PPS Administration. However, the 9 on the board are not the ones who can save the city and District

It was posted in the Pure Reform blog comments,  "Maybe collectively they will be able to come up with ideas about the budget problems, school closings, etc. "

Think again.

Should be, IMNSHO, ... collectively WE will be able to come up with ideas .... 

Sure, the board, on its own, gets to vote. However, if they are the ones to come up with the ideas, we are in deep,trouble, still.

The administration and the board and the citizens are NOT working well together, generally. 

Case in point, in sports, in an area I know about, we had a few months in 2010 when a reform task force with staff, admin, partners and citizens huddled and began to think about global issues and solutions. It was a magical and brief time. The outcomes were equally fleeting. 

Now Dr. Lane says fewer sports and there is no collaboration in recent years. 

All the Kings Horses and all the Kings Men couldn't put Humpty together again. 

Three years ago, and many time since,  I told my principal that we could earn the school $50k a year by holding community programming at our pool that sits idle by their failed design on afternoons, evenings, nights, weekends, holidays and summers. 

Detailed letters with specifics were sent to Dr. Lane in November 2012, after the full school move into Peabody and she can't find the time for more than a year to pick up the phone and call me back. The fix is here, and it seems as if their goals are to be a district of 9th choice without engaged students.

Putting all the faith in the board, and not the administration, is much like being in Poland in 1938 and thinking there are friends to either east or west. 

Think again.

Should be, IMNSHO, ... collectively WE will be able to come up with ideas .... 

Sure, the board, on its own, gets to vote. However, if they are the ones to come up with the ideas, we are in deep,trouble, still.

The administration and the board and the citizens are NOT working well together, generally. 

Case in point, in sports, in an area I know about, we had a few months in 2010 when a reform task force with staff, admin, partners and citizens huddled and began to think about global issues and solutions. It was a magical and brief time. The outcomes were equally fleeting. 

Now Dr. Lane says fewer sports and there is no collaboration in recent years. 

All the Kings Horses and all the Kings Men couldn't put Humpty together again. 

Three years ago, and many time since,  I told my principal that we could earn the school $50k a year by holding community programming at our pool that sits idle by their failed design on afternoons, evenings, nights, weekends, holidays and summers. 

Detailed letters with specifics were sent to Dr. Lane in November 2012, after the full school move into Peabody and she can't find the time for more than a year to pick up the phone and call me back. The fix is here, and it seems as if their goals are to be a district of 9th choice without engaged students.

Putting all the faith in the board, and not the administration, is much like being in Poland in 1938 and thinking there are friends to either east or west. 


Mark Rauterkus  
PPS Summer Dreamers' Swim and Water Polo Camp Head Coach
Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team
412 298 3432 = cell

Monday, December 16, 2013

To Pittsburgh Public Schools: Crazy talk and charter schools.

My name Is Mark Rauterkus. My family and I reside at 108 South 12th Street on thehistoric South Side of Pittsburgh. I have a home on the internet at, a Mark Rauterkus & Running Mates Blog and many of my insights are on Facebook too.
I coach PPS athletes in swimming, golf, and water polo as a leader of Summer Dreamers' as an activity partner with the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation and Swim and Water Polo Camp.
Tonight's (December 16, 2013) board conversation concerns charter schools. I have been a big fan and advocate for PPS and Public Schools. I am also a big fan of freedom, liberty and choices for kids and families. In my humble opinion, I think the PPS board should approve these charter requests.
Approve the charters because: The crazy talk in PPS is too great and too frequent.With so much crazy talk and we should add, crazy deeds, it is no wonder that the people of Pittsburgh have been voting with their feet. Enrollment is in decline. If PPS was doing its job well, there would not be a demand from others to open nor attend charter schools.
Crazy Talk sounds like these words from Dr. Lane at her State of the Districtpresentation, "Fewer Sports." Our kids don't need fewer sports. That is the wrong way. I feel strongly that our students need more sports. We need better sports. We need management of sports. We need sports reform. Pittsburgh is a great sports town.
My biggest request is that if you do act to make PPS with fewer sports, then you do so quickly. We need prompt decisions. Make a fast decision. On the chopping block at present is swimming, golf, tennis, and all intramural sports at the high school level. Middle school cuts are slated for volleyball, wrestling and swimming. Uniforms, transportation and other cuts are due too.
We understand that the axe is going to swing in many places. But, you need to know that all are dying now, already.
As Dr. Lane says, "5 to 10 schools are going to close or get realignment" that is code for:
I can't make up my mind.
Or, I know what's about to close and change, but I am not going to tell you now.
+ Or, We have no clue as to what we are doing.
+ Some decoder rings reveal: We have not yet hired the consultants to crunch the numbers to tell us what schools are the most expensive.
Or, to the citizens of the world, the code reads as: “Don't move to Pittsburgh.” And, citizens of Pittsburgh, the classlessness is manifested as: Sign me up for a charter school. Or, it is time to get a home or apartment in the suburbs.
The lack of leadership is both "mean" and it means all schools suffer by way ofstarvation.
I live just 2 blocks from South Vo Tech. Remember South? For 5 years, the standing rumor was that the board was going to close South. South is going to close soon. Teachers bailed. Then word was solid that people shouldn't send their kids to South because the school was about to close. This became a self fulfilling prophecy. Board members and administrators must have had a policy of “Starve em. Wait it out.” Of course we have to close those schools.
Likewise, of course we need to shut down golf, tennis, swimming, and intramurals.Why get devoted to those sports as they are dead end activities. Don't go there. Don't waste your time. You're not valued.
Five to ten schools are in jeopardy, but really, all are frail and falling fast.
Smart move.
About five or six years ago I had an initial meeting with Mr. Gavlik, the over arching Athletic Director for all of PPS. I remember well when he said, "Swimming in the city is dying."
I said, "No way. Swimming in the city is thriving. Oakland Catholic had just won the state Championships. It is hard to find an extra minute in any suburban school swim pool. The Pitt Christmas Meet is big time HUGE. Swimming is suffering in the citybecause PPS has done plenty to try too kill swimming.
Mr. Lopez at the Homewood Children's Village is saying that swimming is going to be a part of their educational mission. For that alone, I would vote to approve that charter.
Above script are the speaker notes for the PPS Board Hearing slated for today, Monday, Dec 17, about three charter school applications. 

The gang mentality works....

This article just showed up online.... Urban Media Today.

"The gang mentality works."

I think we would just rather have young people in gangs we control like swim teams and orchestras than street gangs."

So says Mark Rauterkus, a South Side resident and activist who serves as swim and golf coach for Pittsburgh Obama, as he reflects on Pittsburgh Public Schools' recently announced consideration of further cuts to sports teams and arts-related programs.

Pittsburgh schools, facing declining enrollment and financial woes that could land the district in bankruptcy  with a deficit of $49.6 million by 2016 unless drastic changes are made, have been the subject of a $2.4 million study by consultants FSG and Bellwether Education Partners  paid for by grants from the Fund for Excellence and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The results of the study indicate that cost-cutting is required, and Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Linda Lane says that school closures, consolidations and reconfigurations, along with longer cleaning and sanitation intervals for schools, reduced transportation costs by using Port Authority buses for high schoolers and staggered schedules to allow for multiple routes per bus, eliminating staff positions and reducing the high school day from nine periods to eight daily.
Lane also suggested the district could save as much as $600,000 yearly by eliminating intramural sports; the middle-school volleyball, swimming and wrestling teams, and the high school golf, swimming and tennis teams, and another $400,000 by spending less on athletic transportation, uniforms and equipment.

"Sports and intramurals are very important to young people," Rauterkus says. "When you go to suburban districts, their facilities are buzzing with conditioning and off-season practices, but here in the city, you go to any of our schools and they are closed. In return, people look at that and say, 'Oh, look at the marching band over there,' or 'look at the sports opportunities there,' and they pack up their households and they go."

"The outward migration in the city is huge," Rauterkus says. "The city has almost turned the tide, and young people are staying here, but they will not stay if there is not a place for their kids to go to school, with the opportunities that are matched 3 miles or 8 miles away in Bethel Park, or Shaler or wherever."

Rauterkus says sports is one way that PPS can show it can compete with the suburban districts, and wonders whether Lane realizes the importance of sports and other "extracurriculars" to the lives of students and their families.

"She will mention 'teamwork' in a lot of her talks, she talks about students being 'Promise Ready,' but if you are interested in teamwork, you don't cut teams," Rauterkus says. "Colleges look for scholastic kids who are into athletics."

"Our city kids aren't as aware of the whole process. When our kids go to college, I want them on a team," Rauterkus says, referring to the large number of Promise Scholars who may be the first in their family to attain post-secondary education. "I want them to be surrounded by other kids, and another adult, who are going to help them get through the college experience in a positive way."

Rauterkus says that at Swarthmore, where his son, 2013 PPS grad Erik, attends, participation in varsity athletics is 55 percent. 

"At Washington and Jefferson, 45 percent of the students are varsity athletes," Rauterkus says. "Being on a sports team gives you a support group, you learn time-management, and it makes you more attractive to possible employers."

Rauterkus admits the high percentages "don't hold" at larger schools, but says "kids on a team have instant friendships. They watch out for each other, and watch they stay academically eligible and on the straight and narrow."

The sports being cut, says Rauterkus are "lifetime sports. When they are 20 or 30 or 40 years old, they are not going to pick up a tennis racket or a golf club or learn to swim. They can't go to the beach or holiday on a boat if they can't swim."

Rauterkus says the cuts mean the loss of life lessons for kids, but also, "sports are a way for a lot of these kids to get their exit ticket punched, to be able to do better for themselves."

The school population has declined consistently over the last 10 years. This year, PPS enrollment from K-12 is 24,525, while the number of school-aged residents (4-17) has declined from 52,000 in 2000 to 37.000 in 2010.

"To turn that around, we need to invest in these things that are rooted in the communities," Rauterkus says. "Kids need to make 'buddies,' not just the kid they sit next to in Math class."

Rauterkus says even he, who has been "rah-rah for Pittsburgh schools all along," would consider moving from the district to keep extra-curriculars available for his younger son, Grant, a sophomore.

"No matter what Bill Peduto does, it will fail," he says, although he does hope that the new administration can come to some sort of agreement through the Department of Parks and Recreation to share school facilities outside of school hours.

"A lot of communities do that. It happens with our charter schools here," he says, citing Urban Pathways' use of the Thelma Lovette YMCA in the Hill District for physical education facilities.

"We could sell an 'athlete pass,' where we could do clinics for kids all year and use CitiParks facilities and PPS school facilities," Rauterkus proposes. He believes there is enough interest to make it financially viable because of his involvement with the district's "Summer Dreamers" program, where the demand for programs such as swimming and water polo were nearly four times the number of children who could be accommodated. "Scholarships could be made available, but some people could pay, and it could pull its own weight."

"Suburban schools are beginning to charge participation fees to help cover costs, but it's very difficult in the PPS to even have a booster group," he says. "It's hard to have an ongoing viable group to support the 'extras' the programs need."

In light of Lane's proposed cut of classroom periods, Rauterkus suggests that after-school athletics could take the place of physical education classes, including practices for cheerleading, marching band step-dancing and other dance teams. After school athletics could also solve transportation problems, particularly at schools with combined middle- and high-school populations.

"The middle-school kids go until 4 o'clock, and the high-school kids go 'til 3 o'clock," Rauterkus says, so athletic facilities are still in use by Phys. Ed. classes for an hour after the high-schoolers are done with the academic day.

"Shady Side Academy mandates that every single one of their students participate on a team," he says. The Pittsburgh-area private school uses the athletics programs to meet state Phys Ed. requirements, and mandates that teachers take on a team as a part of their employment. Sports include everything from backpacking to dance to ice hockey in the Senior School's ice arena.

"Everything is confounded by the budget," Rauterkus says. "CAPA ran out of paper for the art students in December. Ten schools are going to close, but they are going to fight to save three of them. No one likes the uncertainty, and every school is in decline. The district is being hurt through the lack of clarity, and people don't want to be part of a sinking ship."

"They are at a permanent disadvantage, and people vote with their feet, and they leave."

"We need to make another arrangement that is strong enough, and attractive enough, to keep families from moving," Rauterkus says.

By Nancy Hart, nancy@urbanmediatoday.comTwitter: @nhart543

Sunday, December 15, 2013

PPS Sports

Sports Mixed Signals with Recent PPS Decisions
By Mark Rauterkus, PPS Coach

This article was sent to The Thomas Merton Center for possible publication in The New People newsletter.

Some historic adjustments in the city sports landscape are expected in the 2014 sports seasons with Pittsburgh Public Schools, but conflicting currents are clashing as recent board votes are at odds with suggestions from the superintendent in the State of the District address. 

In football, the Westinghouse Bulldogs are to jump out of the City League and into the WPIAL. This league realignment is akin to Pitt's departure from the Big East and entry into the ACC. But other teams have been give the okay from the school board to depart the city league too, including the boys and girls volleyball teams at Obama Academy as well as the swim teams at Brashear and Carrick. 

Different, sports ending clouds are hovering over PPS as "fewer sports" are being suggested by Linda Lane, Ph.D., superintendent. The axe may fall upon swimming, wrestling, tennis, golf, and all intramurals at the high schools and middle school cuts to swimming and volleyball teams. 

These spots ramifications could prove to make an impact on the lives of youth in Pittsburgh and the greater community. Thousands of additional students could be departing the district in the season to come as for better opportunities at suburban and charter schools.

The Westinghouse coaches and school officials pushed the plan of switching to the WPIAL through a positive vote of the PPS School Board in October. This makes the first migration beyond the city league for any PPS school in football. 

Every basketball team in PPS, both boys and girls, remain in the City League, also known as PIAA Section 8. 

In the fall of 2012, a select group of sports teams from PPS migrated into the WPIAL. The boys swim team at PPS Obama Academy claimed the first and only WPIAL section title among PPS schools with an undefeated season in class AA. The squad beat foes of Carlington, Montour, Cornell, South Fayette and Bishop Canevin. At Obama Academy, the only previous sports squads to go into the WPIAL are in swimming and soccer, now volleyball seems likely.

Allderdice has the most number of teams in the WPIAL including swimming, golf, cross country, and baseball. Dice adds field hockey to the WPIAL in 2014. 

Baseball had more teams go to the WPIAL: Carrick, Brashear and Allderdice. Hence, a small schedule remained among Perry, Westinghouse and Obama. 

The sports team coop among UPrep, Obama and SciTech is to continue through the  2016 season. Students from those three schools generally combine to form one team. In football, the team is often called USO. 

Pittsburgh Public Schools is at the heart of a great sports town, but PPS has not been offering sporting opportunities to its students to the same degree as those found in suburban Pittsburgh. 

Missing opportunities for the city kids have had ramifications. School spirit suffers, mentoring doesn't happen, petty turf battles fester. Coaching helps kids learn how to "play well with others" or else violence escalates. Sports skills are transferable as athletes learn about devotion, focus, training, teamwork, and rule following. Athletes and teams develop an awareness of relationship with self, with others and with competitors in sports' high-intensity settings that thoroughly engages. 

Throughout the years, much of the outward migration of students from Pittsburgh Public Schools could be attributed to the bare bones sports programs within the city. The city kids played against other city schools and few had chances to face WPIAL competitors. Sure, exceptions exist among the schools and the various teams. Back in the day, the city league was a splendid, robust pursuit that energized the schools and district. 

In recent times, with the changing of high schools and the shrinking school budgets, PPS sports teams might not operate at all. 

To further discuss sports and fitness opportunities in the city, all are invited to attend a session at this year's Summit Against Racism at East Liberty Presbyterian Church on Saturday, January 25, 2014. Or, call or email,, 412-298-3432.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Post-Gazette does what the P-G always does: Sleeping and enabling the Pittsburgh Public Schools fumbling leadership

Seems to me that a "comprehensive plan" would be comprehensive and not vauge. The talk about closing or reconfiguring goes to 5 or 10 schools. Well, are they closing schools or going to reconfigure? Are there five or ten? And, most of all, what schools? None are named.

What 10 schools are running at less than 50% capacity? Not said in the comprehensive plan.

The devil is in the details and this has NONE.

Pittsburgh's school age population is falling sharply because Pittsburgh Public Schools has leadership issues that are not friendly to families, not friendly to students, not friendly to communities. People vote with their feet. The people that can often depart the city schools. Hence, the population decline.

Doctor Lane and her staff have NOT looked into every part of the PPS operations trying to save money. That is the biggest lie of them all. I asked for a meeting in November 2012 as Reizenstein had closed and we were at Peabody High School. I told her of 30 or more points that were specific to these facilities and programs at the pool and how many of them were flat out illegal. Some still are. She sends the email to a staff person and I might get one conversation with that person. Then, generally, that person departs the district too. No serious care nor concern about fiscal responsibility, security, and making the district a place where people want to be -- staff nor students.

Furthermore, for three years I've told our principal, and for more than one year I've told our superintendent that the swim programs could make money. But, they can't seem to find it in their comprehensive review to take 30 minutes and meet so PPS and the school can get $50,000 a year.

The school district has much to learn about community partnerships. But, they get an A+ when it comes to hoodwinking the Post-Gazette and having a few uber boosters and consultants blow enough smoke around with PR glitter. The people that go to school know better and those that have to make those decisions every semester know better too.

Rough road: Pittsburgh’s schools have tough choices to make
December 10, 2013

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pittsburgh Public Schools superintendent Linda Lane doesn’t sugarcoat the problems confronting her district.

A comprehensive, two-year planning report she released last Wednesday said that, although more city high school graduates are heading for college than five years ago, academic performance has declined in the last two years, 10 of the district’s 50 schools are running at less than 50 percent capacity and costs must be cut by nearly $50 million by 2016.

As Ms. Lane has done throughout her tenure as head of the district, she prepared a plan to attack the budget while implementing measures to improve student achievement.

The report, “Whole Child, Whole Community: Building a Bridge to the Pittsburgh Promise,” includes ambitious goals for transforming the district. Under her sound approach, many of its details will be worked out during consultations with the community and the school board. The document includes a range of options, particularly dealing with finances, and there the school board will need to be particularly aggressive.

The topic that always draws the most fire is the possibility of closing schools. As had been discussed previously, Ms. Lane makes a convincing case for closing Woolslair K-5 in June because its tiny enrollment means per pupil costs are double the rate of other Pittsburgh elementary schools. That alone won’t be enough.

Pittsburgh’s school-age population has fallen by 29 percent since 2000 to 37,431, the district has too many buildings that are under-utilized and its student-teacher ratio is lower than its peers in other Pennsylvania cities. Under the report's most ambitious option, closing 10 school buildings by the fall of 2015 would save as much as $5 million.

That would move the district in the right direction, but other elements of the plan could generate even larger savings. Eliminating classes that are too small, changing the high school schedule from nine periods to eight and reducing library services could save as much as $14 million. Reducing central office personnel and spending could reduce administrative costs by $6 million.

Deferring technology purchases and reducing student athletics — intramural sports; middle school volleyball, swimming and wrestling; and high school golf, swimming and tennis — could save $2 million. Maintenance costs could be lowered by $7 million if facilities were cleaned and disinfected less often. Having most high school students travel on Port Authority buses and realigning start times for other schools to cut down on school bus trips could save another $3.5 million.

Ms. Lane and her staff have looked into every part of the operation for ways to cut costs, without losing focus on the district’s fundamental mission of preparing its students for success in both higher education and the workforce. There is a lot of work to do.

The school board and its community partners now have a road map that can move Pittsburgh Public Schools toward the fiscal stability the district needs to fulfill its goals.

Read more:

Monday, December 09, 2013

Re: The Hour of Code is here: join the largest learning event in history!

On Dec 9, 2013 9:32 AM, "The LiveCode Team" <> wrote:

The Hour of Code is here: join the largest learning event in history! 
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The Hour of Code is Here

LiveCode are playing their part in The Hour of Code and are featured on tutorial page under other learning options. Participate in the Hour of Code with LiveCode

The Hour of Code is here: join the largest learning event in history!

WIth support from Apple to Zuckerberg, world leaders and celebrities, millions unite behind computer science at learning events in 25,000 classrooms.

Starting today, across 160 countries, in 25,000 classrooms, over 4 million students have signed up to be the first to experience the "Hour of Code" and's new learning platform with video tutorials by Mark Zuckerberg, Chris Bosh and Bill Gates.

In celebration of Computer Science Education Week, over 100 partners have come together to promote the "Hour of Code." In an unprecedented show of unity, the campaign is featured on home pages of a dozen Internet web sites, with a kick-off video starring celebrities, athletes, and world leaders.

"The international spread of the Hour of Code shows that interest in computer science knows no boundaries," said Hadi Partovi, founder of "In the 21st Century, this isn't just a course you study to get a job in software - it's important to learn even if you want to be a nurse, a journalist, an accountant, a lawyer or even a president."

Try an Hour of Code now at and all the partners behind Computer Science Education Week encourage students, parents, and educators worldwide to engage in computer science. Take a 1 hour course online. Or host it in your classroom. Or ask your school to offer computer science to your children.
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Fwd: youth cycling sponsorship opportunity

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Fred Gohh <>

KindHuman is in search of youth cyclists who need and deserve our help. With the help of the global cycling community, we are actively looking to sponsor one boy and one girl for the 2014 cycling season. We will be giving over $5000 worth of equipment including our debut bike, the Kampionne. Ideal applicants are active cyclists between the ages of 12 and 17. We are looking for young leaders, kids that not only Take The Lead as role models on the bike, but in their classrooms, communities and homes. Because, champions in sport are impressive but champions in life are exceptional!

If you are or know of a youth leader, please direct them to our Sponsor The Future Facebook Contest Page where they can upload their video explaining why they are the future of cycling. Videos don't have to be professional quality, just like this video here, a simple cell phone video will do the trick!


Fwd: SuperBall Exhibit

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "tom underiner" <>
Date: Dec 9, 2013 8:54 AM
Subject: SuperBall Exhibit
To: "Mark Rauterkus" <>

Hey Mark, nice talking with you just now.

Forwarding you here the information about the Superball Show- the artist, Henry Simonds, asks, "I could use all the help I can get to spread the word, so please tell your friends and neighbors to come down."

So, in the spirit of that, please do share this information with your considerable social networks!

also including the pictures he references, as attachments. Gmail is sure wonky with pictures & graphics...

Thanks for your help spreading the word!


From: Henry Simonds <>
Date: Sun, Dec 8, 2013 at 11:33 AM
Subject: "Super€Ball" Exhibition

Dear Friends,

I want thank all of you who braved the weather to come out in support of my show on Friday evening.  I was thrilled to see such a turnout and hope everyone enjoyed themselves.

For those of you who were unable to make it, here are a few photos of the installation to whet your appetite to come down and see it for yourselves.

There are extended hours today until 4pm and visits can be arranged throughout the week with Mia at 412-370-6916.  I will be returning next week for regular hours Friday 11-7,Saturday 11-7 and Sunday 9-3.  I am planning an artist's talk, so look for another update shortly.

All the work is for sale, so you can pick up a last minute gift while you are here.

Some of you mentioned that it was a little hard to find, so I have posted a visual guide on my facebook page from the vantage point of the East End Food Co-op front door.  Also, Check out the link to the new Merchandise page.

The address again is 201 N. Braddock Ave at Meade St. (across from the Co-op in Point Breeze).  

I could use all the help I can get to spread the word, so please tell your friends and neighbors to come down.

Thanks again,


Henry J. Simonds
Co-Founder and Chief Sphaeralogist
The International Sphaeralogical Society

Visual Guide:

New Merchadise:

From: Henry Simonds <>
Date: Thu, Dec 5, 2013 at 2:22 PM
Subject: "Super•Ball" Exhibition

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Fwd: What Water Polo Teaches

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "USA Water Polo" <>

Responsible Sport Parenting for USA Water Polo Parents WINTER 2013
In this issue: What Water Polo Teaches | Value of an Off-Season | Honoring The Game
What Water Polo Teaches

As the season winds down and you head into the off-season, it's a good time to stop and reflect: did my kids learn valuable life lessons from this season? Are they learning the things I had hoped that sport could teach them?

Learn more from the experts at Responsible Sports about potential life lessons your kids could - and maybe should - learn from their youth water polo experience.

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Responsible Sports
Value of an Off-Season

There are so many ways to use the off-season. Some coaches who are committed to a Mastery Approach, set goals for each player on new skills to practice and acquire. Other coaches stress conditioning. And still other coaches and parents encourage their players to play other sports and cross-train. Finally, some parents and coaches really want time away from the sport, trying to avoid burnout and overuse injuries.

Our experts had a chance to sit down and think through the off-season - and share their insights with you.

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Honoring the Game

You may have won your State Championships this year. Or you might have struggled, experienced a rebuilding season. But as your water polo season comes to a close, it's a great chance to talk to your kids about how they Honored The Game - in both victory and defeat. Did they congratulate their opponents? Did they thank the referee, even when a call went against them? Did they end the season with a thank you to their coach?

One of the lessons we hope our kids learn from water polo is sportsmanship. Here are some ideas for how you can Honor The Game and encourage your athlete to do so next season!

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Explore USA Water Polo on Responsible Sports
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Saturday, December 07, 2013


This is what double-talk looks like. Or, it is a lesson on how NOT to compete, kids of PPS

Hi Dr. Lane,

It is Saturday morning at 8 am and I posted this to the PPS Facebook wall. About 3 hours ago I had already sent out the alerts to my team at Obama Academy that the swim practice slated today at Westinghouse was called off by PPS because of snow.

Posted to Pittsburgh Public Schools thread, as ALL ACTIVITIES except DANCES, SAT TESTING and DRAMA at CAPA are called off for Saturday.

Today there are about 150 kids from all over the Northeast including prep schools such as Andover who will assemble to practice water polo at Pitt. They will show up, train 8 hours in the pool over 2 days, be coached, stay out of trouble, grow as friends for life, problem solve, and model excellent TEAMWORK and PROCESSES replicated around the world with Olympic Development Program Athletes. One kid from the city will be in their company, BTW. Meanwhile, no kid from Homewood nor East Liberty nor Bloomfield can swim a Saturday practice at Westinghouse. Funny thing, some will show up anyway. I bet they all don't get the message that their school district has already canceled their life opportunities for them so as to make it impossible for them to compete with the rest of the world. PS... The roads are not bad at all. ... What about "Showing UP" and attendance?, If you are nor too busy being LAZY for other people come by Trees Swim Pool , Linda Lane, any time today or Sunday, yep even Sunday to witness what you are robbing PPS kids from doing.

  • Mark Rauterkus Saturday Pool A Pool B
    11:30am-1:30pm 8th Grade Girls 8th Grade Boys
    1:00pm-3:00pm 10th Grade Girls 10th Grade Boys
    2:30pm-4:30pm 12th Grade Girls 12th Grade Boys
    4:00pm-6:00pm 8th Grade Girls 8th Grade Boys
    5:30pm-7:30pm 10th Grade Girls 10th Grade Boys
    7:00pm-9:00pm 12th Grade Girls 12th Grade Boys

    Sunday Pool A Pool B
    7:45am-9:30am 8th Grade Girls 8th Grade Boys
    9:00am-11:00am 10th Grade Girls 10th Grade Boys
    10:30am-12:30am 12th Grade Girls 12th Grade Boys
    12:00pm-2:00pm 8th Grade Girls 8th Grade Boys
    1:30pm-3:30pm 10th Grade Girls 10th Grade Boys
    3:00pm-5:00pm 12th Grade Girls 12th Grade Boys
  • Mark Rauterkus That, above, is the practice schedule so people can come on in and check it out.
  • Mark Rauterkus Or, you can just watch my FB page for updates this weekend.

You and the United Way got a lot of buzz with the message about showing up and how attendance was important. 

Do you realize that in the first two weeks of our swim season at Obama we had three practices called off by school officials. There was the snow night before Thanksgiving and the 2 hour delay (2) and the first day of practice we could not have sports at the school because there was a CABARET dress rehearsal in the school gym. Go figure.

At the end of the 2nd week, we had a practice swim meet with Shaler and Deer Lakes. Shaler had already conducted 100 practices this season and our PPS kids had 6. 

Our team was slated to hold its practice at Westinghouse HS because we are NEVER allowed to hold practices on SATURDAYS at our school because the custodians say the pool needs to be cleaned that day. 

When you spoke at the State of the District talk and said an A/B cleaning schedule would be possible, I giggled. The custodians are lucky to ever go and clean the pool -- unless they do a "retaliation cleaning" by squirting the locker room floor down while our kids are in the water at 6:30 am practice some morning. And yes, our kids clothing is all around the locker room at that time. Go figure. 

On Saturday, I'll be in the stands at Pitt's Trees Hall, ready to talk about what we can do together in terms of cooperation so we are a district of first choice from:

1-3 pm on Saturday, 
5:30 to 7:30 on Saturday


9-11 am on Sunday,
1:30 to 3:30 on Sunday, too.

If you get this email on Monday, I'll be at the pool at Obama every day next week from 6 am to 7:15 AM. 

We need to talk without emails and without mine time limited to 3 minutes at public comment. I asked to meet with you since November 2012. My patience is about to evaporate as goes another 1,000 kids in an outward migration from PPS with the talk of "fewer sports."

With crisis comes opportunity. 

Finally, this is NOT about money. Three years ago I told Dr. Walters, my school principal, that I'd be able to give Obama $50,000 per year. That would more than sustain the swim and water polo programs at our school and have lots of money left over for other sports, PTO or whatever he wanted. So, money is not the issue. 

It is a slam dunk for me to make $50,000 a year for PPS. Golly, I did way more than that in the 80s.

Have a good weekend. Go Steelers.

Mark Rauterkus    
PPS Summer Dreamers' Swim and Water Polo Camp Head Coach
Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team
412 298 3432 = cell